“How was church today?” is a common question that will likely be asked many times by many people later on tomorrow. What are the common answers? Maybe “It was good” or perhaps “Not too bad.”
I wonder, do we gather for worship expecting those to be the sort of responses with which we’ll come home afterwards? And then do our expectations of “mediocre” worship limit God’s ability to reveal Himself and powerfully work among us?
This past Sunday at Gateway Community Church in Abbotsford, Pastor Bert Slofstra preached on a time Jesus shows up a synagogue in Capernaum. The service likely begins like usual, but it quickly becomes pretty exciting when Jesus casts a shrieking, violent demon out of a man. The service has ceased to be predictable and safe. Jesus has arrived.
Who at the time would have expected such a thing to happen in Capernaum? Reflecting on that question led Pastor Bert to ask,
Do we ever come here with the expectation that we are headed for a real encounter with the living God? Do we really expect anything to happen?
So, how are you and I expecting church to go tomorrow? If you and I expect just another average day of clocking time in the pew or in the pulpit, maybe our eyes and ears, minds and hearts with their preconceived notions will be closed to God’s presence and activity in our very midst.
On the other hand, what if this evening and tomorrow morning we sincerely pray for God to reveal Himself in our worship together? What if we ask the Holy Spirit to tune our bodies and souls for an encounter with our mighty and loving God? It’s quite possible that our time of worship will cease to be predictable and safe. But that will be okay, because Jesus will have arrived. Let’s not miss Him.